First pandemic epicentre Wuhan discharges its last Covid patient from hospital

The central Chinese city of Wuhan, the first Covid-19 pandemic epicentre where the virus emerged late last year, has no remaining cases in hospitals, China announced Sunday.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a wet seafood and meat market in Wuhan before spreading across China and then globally.

Early cases of Covid-19 were discovered among Wuhan residents in December.

More than 2.8 million people have since been sickened by the rapidly spreading virus and nearly 200000 have died globally.

“The latest news is that by April 26, the number of new coronavirus patients in Wuhan was at zero, thanks to the joint efforts of Wuhan and medical staff from around the country,” national health commission (NHC) spokesperson Mi Feng said at a briefing in Beijing on Sunday.

The last patient in serious condition in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, was cured on Friday, reducing the number of these patients in the city to zero, Mi said.

Wuhan, however, recorded 20 new silent carriers of the virus on Friday, with 535 suspected patients under medical observation.

The city of around 11 million people was put under a total lockdown for 76 days starting January 23 but still saw the highest number of cases and fatalities in China.

According to the Chinese government’s revised estimates released earlier this month, the total confirmed infections in the city were 50,333 while there were 1290 more deaths, pushing the total number of fatalities to 3,869.

The focus in China now is on imported cases.

The NHC authorities said Sunday that it received reports of 11 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on the mainland Saturday, of which five were imported.

The other six new cases were domestically transmitted, the NHC said in its daily report, noting that five cases were reported in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China and one in the southern province of Guangdong.

No deaths nor suspected cases were reported Saturday on the mainland.

The health authorities are also focusing on Beijing, which now has the only high-risk zone for Covid-19 in the country.

On Sunday, the Beijing government made public new regulations aimed at better public hygiene, banning “uncivilised” behaviour of citizens.

The rules include the banning of “uncivilised” behavior such as not covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

The regulations include a renewed emphasis on “dressing neatly” and not going shirtless in public, in a reference to the so-called “Beijing bikini” practice where men roll T-shirts and shirts up to expose their stomachs in summer.

Beijing already discourages a range of “uncivilized” behaviours including public spitting, littering, walking dogs unleashed, throwing things from high buildings, public defecation and smoking in places where it is prohibited.

“But the latest rules — passed on Friday — outline new specific punishments.

Fines for littering, spitting and defecation in public were upped to a maximum of 200 yuan ($28), from a previous upper limit of 50 yuan,” news ageny, AFP said in a report Sunday.

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